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Best Linux Distribution for Server?

 
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I was a linux admin, back in time, 6 or 7 years ago. Now i am a FreeBSD admin, using it with great success (for those that did not heard about FreeBSD, Yahoo uses it, also Hotmail used it before it was purchased by microsoft).

Everyhing is fine with FreeBSD, which is not much different from linux, still linux is more known and some people need linux setups, so coming back to linux my question to you is what is now the best linux distribution for Servers (web, mail, vpn, router - usages)?

I heard about CentOS, Whitebox which are descendants of RH9, also about Ubuntu, but I want to know your experience tips about what's best for servers.

thank you
ovidiu

 
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Most of our servers that aren't running Solaris are running on RH Enterprise.
The rest run Debian.
That's a total of something like a hundred Linux servers.

 
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I supose you are running Solaris on Sun RISC not on x86, right? I've heard that Solaris's strength comes from RISC processors too, not only from the OS itself, and performance is much better on RISC than on Intel compatibles CPUs.

Thanks for your answer!
best regards,
ovidiu

 
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Personally, I wouldn't run Solaris on an x86 server. Redhat Enterprise is definately starting to shape up to a decent server OS. Debian is nice, but you won't find it on my server. Ubuntu is more for desktop end-user than it is for a server. If you can find a host that offers RHEL, there is no reason to stick with CentOS and Whitebox. If you can't, then I would use CentOS. CentOS is actually compiled from the SRPMS from the latest RHEL distrobution.

 
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i like redhats GUI tools for configuring things

SuSE is buggy and is often thaught of as a dekstop OS but makes not a bad server i ahve found

i hate ubuntu for servers (sudo is a crap idea) but i love debian. I usually do a base netinstall then apt-get whatever i need so i can have a server up and running in no time at all

secondly, dont nececerially discredit windows for sevrers. I like linux but after trying server 03 i was very impressed although the GUI and well, windowsness may not suit all

 
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If you are looking for a simple to install and maintain distribution, have a look at SMEserver.

www.smeserver.org

Tony

 
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sles is a good choice, in my opinion. Ubuntu's lamp server is very useful. debian can run on anything, basicaly any of these distros are good.

 
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i hate ubuntu server
sudo on a server is dumb it teaches bad practice

 
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i hate ubuntu server
sudo on a server is dumb it teaches bad practice

Why exactly is sudo so bad? It seems to me like the usual FUD people throw around with goto statements...

 
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I've seen debates on other forums about sudo. The arguments against sudo is that on Ubuntu it allows a regular-privaleged user full access, and that user doesn't even need to use the root account. They say that that destroys the purpose of the root account.

The arguments for it is that you must manually type "sudo" in front of every command you want root access for. This, they say, is much safer than using "su" which then gives you full access to everything.

I understand both arguments, and the security method I tend to use is either one or the other -- but not both. Not sure how much good that does, though. :rolleyes:

 
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but on ubuntu server many admins will set up SSH which by default isnt configured to allow root login or SU but does allow sudoing from a remote localtion - thats bad security as anyone who cracks any account on a ubuntu server could get superuser access

 
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but on ubuntu server many admins will set up SSH which by default isnt configured to allow root login or SU but does allow sudoing from a remote localtion - thats bad security as anyone who cracks any account on a ubuntu server could get superuser access

That sounds more like a poorly configured system. Only trusted users should be in whichever group is given sudo permissions (apparently group admin on Ubuntu). By default, only the first user is added to this group anyways, which is expected (most OSs will have the first user be an admin; on most *nix it's root, but Ubuntu does it different). And sudo is configurable if you want to make sure nobody is touching certain things...

 
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in order to use the sudo command, you DO need the root password.

 
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in order to use the sudo command, you DO need the root password.

Funny, I've never needed it...

 
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no you dont

on ubuntu you enter your user password and su and root login are disabled

 
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on ubuntu you enter your user password and su and root login are disabled

yes, no, yes. User password is all sudo needs, on any system I've used. Root login is disabled by default on Ubuntu. BUT, su is not disabled. Try running sudo su. Try to su to another user's account (that's what it's for, afterall), even without sudo. su still works just fine. (Actually, that was how I checked that users aren't added to admin by default - useradd newUser, su -l newUser, groups).

 
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ahh i didnt realise3 you had to do sudo su not just su

You can reenable root by doing sudo passwd root and making one up (does this mean it had none before?)

 
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in order to use the sudo command, you DO need the root password.

If sudo needed the root password, what would be the point?

Sudo (superuser do) allows a system administrator to give certain users (or groups of users) the ability to run some (or all) commands as root or another user while logging the commands and arguments.

As for the root account on Ubuntu - I believe it does have no password, but is simply "disabled". And of course setting it the way he described will set the password and reenable the root account.

A similar security model exists for Mac OS X, as you can also enable the root account and even login to Mac OS X as root.

As usual, the best things to do in regard to sudo and su: if you don't use them, disable them, or at least to a certain degree. Personally I like setting su's permissions so that it can only be run by a privileged group (usually wheel). And of course if you use sudo, make sure to use visudo to edit sudo.conf to your needs.

 
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what? oh yeah taht's right, i was thinking of fedora in which you do need the root password to use sudo

 
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what? oh yeah taht's right, i was thinking of fedora in which you do need the root password to use sudo

I don't think you ever use the root password to use sudo, unless your root password is identical to your regular user's password. ;)

Like I said, there'd be no point to sudo if you had to enter the root password. You might as well be using su. Perhaps that's what you're thinking of...

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